Harmonies Poetiques et Religieuses III - Richard Jefferies

GRAHAM ARNOLD (born 1932) Biography
BROTHERHOOD OF RURALISTS (founded 1975) Biography

Harmonies Poetiques et Religieuses III - Richard Jefferies (England, 1976)

Mixed media construction

Dimensions

101.50cm high
76.00cm wide
7.00cm deep
(39.96 inches high)
(29.92 inches wide)
(2.76 inches deep)
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Provenance

The Artist

Literature

Graham Arnold, A Retrospective, exhibition catalogue, Tabernacle Cultural Centre, Machynlleth 1992
Peter Nahum, The Brotherhood of Ruralists and the Pre-Raphaelites, 2005, The Leicester Galleries Exhibition Catalogue, illustrated, number 18
Anne Anderson, Robert Meyrick, Peter Nahum, Ancient Landscapes - Pastoral Visions: Samuel Palmer to the Ruralists, Southampton City Art Gallery, April-June 2008; then touring Victoria Gallery Bath, Falmouth Art Gallery and Cube Gallery Plymouth until 19 December 2008, page 50, catalogue number 12

Exhibition History

Bath, Festival Gallery, 1976
Bristol, Park Street Gallery, Upottery Arts Festival, 1978
Bodmin, Bodmin Fine Arts, 1979
Bristol, Arnolfini Gallery, Brotherhood of Ruralists, 1981; touring to Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery, Glasgow, Third Eye Centre and London, Camden Arts Centre
London, Piccadilly Gallery, 1983
Devizes Museum and Art Gallery, 1983
London, Piccadilly Gallery, 1991
Machynlleth, Tabernacle Cultural Centre, Graham Arnold, A Retrospective, 1992, number 21
Devizes, A Mirror on Life, Devizes Museum, Wiltshire 1995
London, Peter Nahum at The Leicester Galleries, The Brotherhood of Ruralists and the Pre-Raphaelites, June - July 2005, number 18
Southampton City Art Gallery, Ancient Landcapes - Pastoral Visions: Samuel Palmer to the Ruralists, April-June 2008; then touring Victoria Gallery Bath, Falmouth Art Gallery and Cube Gallery Plymouth until 19 December 2008, number 12

Description / Expertise

Richard Jefferies has been of supreme importance to the artist since the late 1940s and his influence on the artist has permeated almost all his activities. Jefferies’ intense vision of nature, his philosophy, his humanity, his love of solitude, his desire to realise the full potential of all the senses and his ability to be fully consciously in the moment have all been of profound significance to the artist’s development. Although not directly represented, it is the chalk bleached landscape of Wiltshire that lies behind this work – the landscape, more than any other in the eyes of the artist, which posses the spirit of Jefferies.

The artist wrote in 1971, at the time of the exhibition at Rottingdean: My last work, the Harmonies Poetiques et Religieuses is also the name Liszt gave to ten piano pieces and I gave my work this name because I intend to make a further nine similar works, each one expressing a pattern of experiences but at the same time dominated by a particular theme. In this case the theme is the spirituality of music and also in the saintliness of two men. The two men referred to are John Moreley’s Grandfather, a gardener who had spent a lifetime caring for plants, and the artist’s own Father who was in every way a truly good man.

The ten works originally planned, each homage to a particular hero or heroine, were as follows; Franz Liszt, John Ruskin, Richard Jefferies, T.S. Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Wordsworth, Edward Elgar, Thomas Traherene, Wanda Landowska and Gertrude Jekyll. Only the first four were completed. The series ended at four mainly because of the immense weight of the first two and although the following two were reduced in size they were still formidable objects to have around in a tiny studio. The artist says; My original ambition had been to see all ten hanging in a specially designed building surrounded by a beautiful garden – a glorious ‘Garden of Remembrance’ to the glory of the human sprit.